Diné art professor loves her work, community


As a college professor of printmaking and art, Melanie Yazzie gets inspiration from her Navajo culture and abroad.

Melanie Yazzie is a professor of art at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“I’ve been to New Zealand, Germany, Australia, and Japan, I’ve seen art work in so many places,” said Yazzie, in a phone call from her home in Boulder, Colorado.

Before taking a job as Professor of Arts Practices and Printmaking at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she remains today, Yazzie worked at the University of Arizona as a printmaking professor and she also taught several art courses.

“I had to work and make a name for myself,” said Yazzie.

She then moved into the Santa Fe area as an art professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts before moving to Boulder.

“I work with undergrads. I help them train to become artists,” said Yazzie.

Yazzie graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe, where she received her bachelor’s degree in art and then moved to Boulder to pursue her master’s at CU.

During her free time, Yazzie is busy working on her own artwork, which she describes as contemporary abstract with a touch of Native culture.

Yazzie’s designs are a blend of Native American designs with abstract modern and psychedelic images and tones, which make her work unique and contemporary. Her palette is vibrant colors you’d expect a 20-something artist to use.

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Categories: Education